Robert "Bob" John Bertram

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Nov. 19 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grafton for Robert "Bob" John Bertram of Grafton, who died on Monday, Nov. 14, 2005 at home surrounded by his family, at the age of 84. The Rev. Steven Lampe celebrated the Mass. Visitation was held at the church and interment took place at St. Maryís Cemetery in Port Washington. Poole Funeral Home in Port Washington assisted the family with arrangements.

Bob was born on Aug. 9, 1921 near Barton to Margaret and Al Bertram. He was baptized and received First Holy Communion at St. Maryís Catholic Church in Barton. Bob spent his childhood years in many different places (including Barton and Milwaukee) because his father built highways and the family moved often. When Bob was 16, the family settled on a farm near Grafton. Later they purchased a farm on 17th Avenue and Falls Road in Grafton, which Bob later bought.

After farming, Bobís first job was at the Cedarburg Egg Plant. On May 18, 1944 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and spent six weeks at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois. On June 29, 1944, he married Betty Lauters of Port Washington at St. Maryís Catholic Church in Port Washington. He shipped out to the Pacific and became a crew member aboard the tug boat USS Osceola (YTB-129) stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. While deployed, he made Seaman 2nd Class and was then promoted to Fireman 1st Class. He kept in touch daily with his new wife by writing letters until he returned home in February of 1946.

Bob began working at Hanzinger Construction in Milwaukee and was a molder at Gilson Foundry in Fredonia. Then Bob decided to buy his own silo equipment and began building silos and grain bins in Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Minnesota. In 1972, he took his family to Pueblo West, Colo., where he worked as an excavator and was finally employed by Sutherland Lumber Company. In 1990, Bob and Betty retired to Sunbird, Ariz. By the year 2000 they were back in Grafton. Bob enjoyed hunting, some golf, playing cards and a lot of sightseeing. As he grew older, his greatest joy was his children, grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and relatives.

He is survived by his wife Betty of Grafton; children Dan (Tina) Bertram of Waubeka, Jean (Jerry) Hill of Naperville, Ill., Bill (Jill) Bertram of Fredonia, Michael and Robb Bertram of Fredonia, Sherry (Tom) Isaacson of Fredonia, Jeff Bertram of Los Angeles, Calif., and Lisa (Scott) Ehaney of Fredonia; grandchildren Daniel, Gregg, Brandon, Elizabeth, Brian, Gary, Jake and Jessica Bertram, Anastasia Hill, Patrice Bostwick, Andrew and Thomas Isaacson and Erica Walls; sisters Geraldine (Joe) Van Dam of Appleton and Mary Stick of Milwaukee; in-laws Chuck (Stella) Lauters, Donald (Eleanor) Lauters and Carol Capelli. He is further survived by six great-grandchildren along with other relatives and friends.

Bob was preceded in death by his daughter Mary and brother Al.

The family wishes to express their appreciation for the abundant kindness shown to them at this time, especially the wonderful hospice care from RN Ken Schmitz and the staff at Heartland Hospice in Brookfield.

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